‘Knowledge Is Power’ for Slatington Family

June 04, 2024

SLATINGTON, Pa. — In April 2023, high school sweethearts Chad and Kianna Cederberg of were busy preparing for the birth of their first child.

Kianna was induced on her own birthday, April 3, and less than 24 hours later, a beautiful baby girl they named Fallon entered the world.

Fallon was taken to the NICU to be monitored because she had swallowed meconium during the delivery and her oxygen levels weren’t stable. Reassured that Fallon’s care team was operating out of an abundance of caution but still understandably concerned for their new baby, Chad and Kianna excitedly went to visit Fallon in the NICU later that day.

While spending time with Fallon, her monitors and alarms began going off indicating that she had stopped breathing. She was quickly revived but continued to have apneic episodes and seizures overnight, resulting in her being intubated while she underwent days of testing; that testing resulted in the discovery of a 5-milimeter brain bleed on the right side of her brain caused by a pediatric stroke she suffered in utero.

She was treated in the NICU for 37 days, recovering from a blood infection and establishing a treatment plan for her seizures before being discharged to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Emily Howatt Pliskatt Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem, Pa., to begin her rehabilitation journey.

Fallon arrived at Good Shepherd with a nasogastric (NG) tube, difficulty eating and paralysis on the left side of her body as a result of her stroke. She immediately began physical, occupational and speech therapy (which she began while still in the NICU) while Chad and Kianna began training to learn to care for Fallon’s unique medical needs.

As a result of her therapy, she started developing the endurance she needed to eat and grew stronger every day. When she was discharged from Good Shepherd on July 7, 2023, she was purposefully using her left side and was nearly ready for her feeding tube to be removed.

Today, Fallon is meeting age-appropriate milestones and demonstrating her loving, sweet and “spicy” personality. She continues with outpatient therapy at Good Shepherd in Palmerton and receives in-home therapy from Early Intervention on a weekly basis where she consistently meets and surpasses her goals.

Her parents credit her growth and success to her Good Shepherd care team, support from their parents and siblings who assist with her therapy schedule and care for her while Chad and Kianna work. Their family mantra of “Knowledge is Power” helped them embrace educating themselves about their daughter’s medical needs, and Fallon’s sense of independence, strong will and determination.

“We went from not being sure if Fallon would make it or not, to seeing her excel in everything she does. We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but we know that whatever she does, it’ll be just fine.”

Watch the full video of the Cederbergs’ journey, including insights from Dr. Kimberly Kuchinski and the pediatric inpatient rehabilitation team at Good Shepherd:

The Cederbergs’ story was featured at Good Shepherd’s 2024 Gala in the Garden, benefitting Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Emily Howatt Pliskatt Pediatric Unit — the only provider in the region offering inpatient rehabilitation and specialized programs to treat children with complex medical conditions. The clinicians at the Pediatric Unit provide loving and comprehensive rehabilitation and care to children up to the age of 21.

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